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Teaching Your Kids about Losing

Every parent has witnessed the meltdown that comes with losing. Kids want to win so badly that they can't stand the feeling of coming in second place. When they are young, kids may throw a fit, or even the game. As they get older, they may say things in anger that can make the most outspoken parent's face turn red. It's important to talk to your kids about how to deal with losing before engaging in any sport.

When it comes to teaching kids about winning and losing, parents have a lot of work to do! Kids who are sore losers are often those who are focused more on the competition than having fun. They may be under pressure from parents and coaches to win, which can stress them out and makes them focus on all the wrong things. Sure, winning is fun, but the reality of it is that in every game, there must be a team or person that does not win.

Winning and Losing:

Help your child learn to focus on having fun and enjoying the experience, rather than just focusing on winning or losing.

  • Teach your child to do her best and avoid thinking about the outcome of the game. If she gives whatever she is doing her all, she will have personally won.
  • Speak to your child about good sportsmanship and what it means to lose gracefully. At some point everyone loses, so it is important to be kind and remain a good sport. Your child may also need to be reminded that she should treat others how they want to be treated, and that holds true when it comes to winning and losing.
  • Put more of a focus on her effort in whatever she is doing, rather than on the final outcome, even if she or her team wins. Even if her team loses, for example, it is still important to compliment her on how well she personally played the game.
  • Set a good example by being a good sport in whatever you do and while watching your child from the sidelines. Kids are quite perceptive when it comes to their parents' emotions and actions regarding winning and losing and will often mimic them.

Teaching Kids How to Lose

Just about every kid knows how to win. They celebrate and throw their hands in the air. But not every child knows how to gracefully lose at something. When kids understand how to lose and the importance of it, losing will not rock their confidence. By teaching your teen or tween how to lose while still being a good sport, you will be giving her skills that will last a lifetime!